Ukraine aims to become the West's armory

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.05 - 2023 7:12 AM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Ukraine aims to become the West's armory.

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Oleksandr Kamysyhin, the Ukrainian Minister for Strategic Industries, has expressed a desire to transform Ukraine into a hub of weapon production for the West.

In an interview with The Associated Press (AP), he emphasized that both the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the war between Israel and Hamas have highlighted the importance of investing in defense systems.

500 Companies to Increase Ukrainian Weapon Production

Kamysyhin reported that approximately 500 companies within the Ukrainian defense industry, including 70 state-owned and over 200 private factories, would contribute to increasing weapon production to counter the threat from Russia.

He explained that Ukraine is focusing on the production of various weapons and ammunition, which can be tested and improved in the conflict.

Kamysyhin, who was appointed about eight months ago and previously managed the Ukrainian state railway Ukrzaliznytsia, recalled that he had to build up local weapon production from scratch. Before 2022, he told AP, Ukraine barely had a local defense industry and had mainly relied on military aid from allies.

Kamysyhin did not provide AP with specific production figures but emphasized that the industry had grown significantly in some segments.

He pointed out that the production of artillery ammunition and armored vehicles had increased twentyfold and fivefold, respectively, in the last ten months.

International Alliance Strengthens Ukrainian Defense Industry

Despite the expansion of local production, Kamysyhin admitted that Ukraine would continue to rely on foreign supplies.

He also reported on a recent international conference where over 60 companies, mainly from the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Turkey, signed agreements to participate in an alliance of Ukrainian defense industries.

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